The D segment sedan battleground, sidelined by the influx of crossovers, is once again hotting up with the revamped version of sedans tempting the buyers with their luxurious and advanced features. Chevrolet Cruze returns with better design and features, Elantra 2016 model has just hit the roads, while Toyota Corolla Altis and Skoda Octavia facelifts are anticipated soon. Let us look at how these elite sedans fare against each other.
Hyundai Elantra 2016, Toyota Corolla Altis and Skoda Octavia – all are offered with petrol as well as diesel engine choices whereas Chevrolet Cruze is available with a diesel engine only. All of the cars offer a choice between manual and automatic transmissions.
The new Hyundai Elantra comes blessed with a stiff chassis consisting of 53% High Strength Steel. It rides on a lighter platform and follows the Fluidic Sculpture 2.0 philosophy of the company. The new model is not curvy like its predecessor but hosts a more edgy profile that is sophisticated and elegant.
Toyota Corolla Altis, with its squarish design, swoopy bonnet and grille, sharp lines, and an aggressive stance has a powerful road presence. It picks design cues from the Furia design philosophy and its rear carries a Camry appeal.
Skoda Octavia, currently in its third generation, looks mature and every bit premium, like rest of its rivals. It has roundish edges and soft character lines that make it appear modern and upmarket. Based on Vision D Concept, it comes with striking design elements like new ‘butterfly’ grille, bi-xenon headlamps with dynamic levelling, 16 inch alloy wheels and C-shaped tail lamps.
Talking of Cruze, it looks sportier than the other three with features such as big hexagonal two-piece chrome grille, large projector headlamps with LED DRLs, beefed up wheel arches and twin-pod jewel effect taillights.
Crux – All the cars look dynamic and exude a premium appeal. Those desiring a classy car may fall for Octavia or Corolla while those seeking a sporty sedan will be happy with Cruze. Elantra is right in the middle with a subtle yet mature design.
If you are a car buff, you must have heard about the new Elantra sporting several advanced features in its new avatar like 8 inch touch screen system with Android Auto and Satellite Navigation, BlueLink Telematics and Apple CarPlay connectivity apart from ventilated seats, anti-pinch sunroof, Dual zone Climate Control, Smart Trunk opening etc.
Toyota Corolla Altis is also in the same league and boasts of features like Coloured MID and Wow Needle, rear sunshade, 8-way power driver’s seat, Smart entry with Push start/stop, rear sunshade, two airbags, paddle shift etc.
Coming to Octavia, it also has been blessed with smart features such as 6.4 inch Smart touch screen infotainment system, gear shift control on steering, electric sunroof, 8 airbags, dual zone climate control etc.
Last but not the least, Cruze, also is laden with several wonderful features like 7 inch MyLink infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Auto Android support, front and rear heated seats, 6-way adjustable driver’s seat, electric sunroof, 4 airbags, Automatic Lane Departure Warning etc.
All the cars have a magnificently designed cabin with full attention to comfort and quality. When it comes to pointing at a particular car, Octavia beats other rivals by being more spacious and offering a superior fit and finish.
Crux – The presence of several new-age features makes Elantra the most feature-rich car in this segment while Octavia is most comfortable and spacious.
2016 Hyundai Elantra and Toyota Corolla Altis have a similar wheelbase of 2700 mm. Skoda Octavia and Chevrolet Cruze are more compact with a wheelbase of 2688 mm and 2685mm respectively. At 4659mm of length, Octavia is the longest among all these four cars followed by Toyota Corolla Altis at 4620 mm, Chevrolet Cruze at 4597 mm and Hyundai Elantra at 4570 mm.
Crux – Elantra and Altis have larger wheelbase while Octavia is the longest of the four sedans.
The all new Elantra gets a 152 PS, 2.0-litre Nu petrol mill transmission and the diesel engine on duty is 1.6-litre U2 engine emitting 128 PS of power and 260 Nm of torque. Both the engines are mated with 6-speed manual/6-speed automatic transmission.
The petrol engine on Toyota Corolla Altis is a 1798cc unit offering 140PS of power and 173 Nm of torque. Its diesel variants are powered by a 1364cc diesel engine producing 88 PS of power coupled with 205 Nm of peak torque. While the petrol trims come with both 6-speed manual and CVT automatic transmission, the diesel versions are available with only 6-speed manual gearbox.
On the other hand, Skoda Octavia is equipped with 150PS, 1.4-litre and 180PS 1.8-litre petrol units along with a larger 2.0-litre diesel mill producing 143 PS of power and 320Nm of peak torque. The former is mated with 6-speed manual gearbox while the latter has been combined with 7 speed DSG gearbox. The diesel engine offers the choice of both transmissions.
The engine carried by Chevrolet Cruze is a 2.0-litre diesel engine churning out 166PS of power and 360 Nm of peak torque. The car offers a choice between 6-speed manual and 6-speed automatic transmissions.
Crux – Elantra offers the most power out of its petrol engine while Cruze’s diesel engine is the most powerful.
Skoda Octavia returns the highest fuel efficiency here with both its petrol versions registering a mileage of 16.8 kmpl and 14.7 kmpl respectively. As far as diesel models are concerned, it is Elantra that rules the roost by offering a healthy 23.1 kmpl of mileage. Its petrol variants offer 14.59/14.62 kmpl of mileage depending upon the transmission chosen.
Toyota Corolla Altis also does not disappoint in this aspect, offering 14.3 kmnpl of fuel efficiency from petrol mill and 21.4 kmpl from diesel mill.
The diesel mill of Cruze is not too lethargic either and it puts out a decent 17.9 kmpl of mileage through manual version along with 14.8 kmpl from the automatic version of its diesel engine.
Crux – Skoda Octavia petrol win hands down as the most fuel efficient car while among diesel powered cars, it is Elantra that trumps others.
Elantra is pleasurable and fun to drive and offers a decent handling package too. Its diesel engine is notable for offering low NVH levels and enhanced durability.
Octavia diesel is an avid performer churning out 180PS of power, far greater than its rivals. It is also highly pleasurable to drive. This car is longest of the four but still handles corners with aplomb. It is as efficient on highways as it is inside the city. The petrol version also offers no complains on the performance front.
Cruze offers a mixed bag of performance in terms of ride and handling. Low speed ride offered by this car is a little stiff though straight line stability is good.
Toyota Corolla Altis diesel mill is the least powerful in its class as it suffers from prominent turbo lag. The petrol engine, on the other hand, is smoother and peppier.
Crux – Octavia emerges a winner in the performance department, offering great drivability and excellent high speed stability.
2016 Hyundai Elantra takes the cake for being the most modestly priced car among its major rivals. The base petrol variant of Elantra sells at Rs. 12.99 lakh going up to Rs. 19.19 lakh for the top-of-the-line diesel trim.
Skoda Octavia falls in the price range of Rs. 15.58 – Rs. 22.41 lakh. Toyota Corolla follows with price starting from Rs. 13.78 lakh and going up to Rs. 18.66 lakh. Chevrolet Cruze has had its prices slashed recently and now its three trims are priced at Rs. 13.95, Rs. 15.95 lakh and Rs. 16.95 lakh respectively.
It is indeed immensely hard to pick up a single winner from these stalwarts. Elantra 2016 packs in great punch, Skoda Octavia is a legend with huge fan following, Corolla Altis is the most premium one in the segment and Cruze holds big promises. Taking in the price factor, Elantra, the most affordably priced of the four, is highly likely to get to wear the crown as the king of this segment.